The Fear of Missing Something

When I was a young child, I hated napping. My parents have even shared a few stories with me.

There was the time Grandma would stand outside my cracked bedroom door and attempt to scare me back into my bed. Each time I would try to get out of bed she would tell me in her sternest, most terrifying Grandma voice…”Get back in that bed.”

I had no idea where the voice was coming from, and I would obediently bolt back to my bed.  A couple of minutes later, I would gather up enough courage to venture out again and “the voice” would order me back to my bed to rest.

Then there was the time I figured out how to climb out my bedroom window.  Apparently, I never even made it to the end of the driveway before I was spotted by one of my parents, captured, and put back in my room.

My parents had a theory.  They said I hated naps because I feared I would miss out on something if I closed my eyes.

As an adult, I still have a tendency to struggle with this fear of missing out on something.  I’ve noticed this behavior will often rear its ugly head when using social media.

If I haven’t been on Twitter all day, how far back in the feed is it okay to scroll?  There really should be crazy bells that go off on Twitter when you’re about to exceed the healthy scrolling limit.

*Bing* Okay, Eileen, this is healthy…stop scrolling.

*Bing, Bing* Okay, Eileen, this is hovering on weird…stop scrolling now.

*Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing* Okay, Eileen, you seriously need help.

And what about Facebook. I have endless opportunities to feel like a nut when using this social media outlet. Last night I posted this as my status:

I’ve decided that trying to get the numerous FB Groups listed on the left side of my page to reflect 0 new comments all at the same time is futile. It’s like playing wack-a-mole.

When I catch myself falling into this unhealthy cycle of trying to keep an eye on everything, I know there are some underlying control issues at play. Okay, so maybe they aren’t underlying, they’re on the surface and screaming at me!

That’s when I need to step back and acknowledge this simple and obvious fact again…

Eileen, you are not God. It is not your job to know everything and be everywhere. It is not your job to have your hand into everything. If you happen to miss something…guess what…life goes on. The social media world and the rest of the world will continue to revolve.

(Insert refreshing sigh)  Isn’t that liberating to admit?

Sometimes, I feel like the toddler who just needs to be put in her place again.  Similar to how Grandma’s voice would tell me where I needed to be and what was expected of me, God’s voice will sternly and painfully put me in my place too.

And that place is to let to go of control (which I don’t possess anyway) and rest in Him.

Do you ever struggle with control?  What helps to put you in your place when you do?


13 thoughts on “The Fear of Missing Something

  1. bill (cycleguy)

    I have no trouble with control for Twitter or FB. it is easy for me to say No thanks. ‘Course I reckon you need to use them to have the possibility of trouble with them. 🙂 however, I do struggle sometimes with too much time on my blog. the gentle nudge (bing bing) from God sets the path back. Control issues? Not me!

    1. Eileen Post author

      I think you are wise, Bill! I’ve had friends suggest I get on Pinterest too…yeah…that’s what I need, more social media. 😉


    Oh, yes! I can so easily relate to this post. The past week or so I find myself only checking the posts of my family & close friends after not being on line all day. Twitter especially makes it easy to do this by creating lists!

  3. David Rupert

    I really don’t spend much time on Facebook for this very reason. I’m an info addict — and it’s like taking a first drink for me. I love the absorption and to be in the know. And you know what? It’s all about pride for me.

    1. Eileen Post author

      I agree with this, David. Pride and control are so related. For me, it always comes down to a lack of trust.

  4. Jody Lee Collins

    Eileen, I like the line about ‘inserting a refreshing sigh.’ I go back and forth with checking status updates on Facebook and then deciding to just post from my phone and let the rest of the world go by. God continually reminds me (nudges? pushes?) what my real world is. He made me to connect with a small sphere of people and spreading myself throughout Facebook comments to be a part of everyone else’s lives stretches me too thin and keeps me focused on the wrong things.
    It’s the old battle between flesh and spirit–I think we win the battle in little, tiny pieces…

  5. Stephen Haggerty

    I gotta stay away from posts like this… they are way too convicting! :/ This scenario is very familiar. I definitely benefit from social media breaks and limits- whether it’s an hour or a week away, it makes a HUGE difference with my ability to focus and actually live my life.

  6. Kris Overtoom

    I SO resonate with this one. I was the same way about naps and going to sleep before everyone else as a child.

    I actually deleted my FB account when we moved because I was spending WAY too much time on it and was obsessing about missing posts from my friends back where we used to live. When I returned, I only brought back family members. Now I have limited friends, too. I just joined Pinterest, but don’t spend a lot of time there but I am staying away from Twitter. Instead, I will occasionally put Twitter-like comments on FB without the hashtag just to appear to conform.

    Now God is talking to me about my obsessive need to comment on blogs, which might be a variation on the pride and control issues that make me not want to miss out on anything.

    1. Eileen Post author

      I haven’t gotten on Pinterest, for same reason. It one more thing…that my life doesn’t need.


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